Phillies Mailbag: Kingery, Moniak, Harper’s Meeting
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag. We take your questions each week and answer them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Send your questions anytime to @FrankKlose on Twitter and then tune in to hear your answer!
Ok what is Scott Kingery's status?
Scott Kingery is finally going to play baseball in 2022. After being sidelined with a torn labrum (shoulder), he has been activated and assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. This is a big moment for Kingery and the Phillies organization. With the Phillies salvage their investment or will Kingery salvage his career?
In Clearwater, Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long was working with Kingery. New minor league hitting coordinator Jason Ochart tried last year. The difference between now and before is that the expectations for Kingery are very low.
Will the Phillies end up with a player who can start in the major leagues? They'll need one of them in the infield next year. But even if they can get a solid bench piece who can play many positions, he could provide value to that, too.
But right now Kingery is a sunken cost. What they get from him between now and the end of next season when he's a free agent will be gravy. He will play every day at Triple-A and they'll figure out what they have.
Any chance that you can get us a good Mickey Moniak update, Frank?
When Moniak returns, who is the casualty? ~Eric W
There is currently no timetable for Moniak's return. But on Friday, Phillies manager Joe Girardi said that Moniak is hitting some, as well as "feeling better". However, no rehab assignment has been announced just yet.
I would worry about moves later. Today is the day that Didi Gregorius is eligible to return from the Injured List. The Phillies have been down a position player since Matt Vierling was optioned. Will Bryson Stott head back to Triple-A? That could be a deciding factor.
Franklin Morales was already optioned to Triple-A yesterday. The Phillies need to add Zach Eflin to the active roster so that he can start today. That could be the corresponding move.
But as we have seen: there have been injuries in and out this Phillies team. Therefore, there's no point in waiting to see what happens until Moniak is ready. That timetable hopefully we'll know soon. If he's hitting, I would expect a rehab assignment soon.
Bryce's private team meeting: is that going to be the turn around spot for the season? And if it was players only, what does that say about Joe (trying to not read that far into it)? ~Dave
A few reports came out that Phillis star outfielder Bryce Harper held a team meeting ahead of the Mets series last week:, including this from former Phillie Dave Gallagher:
Really, it was that day that the Phillies seemed to turn things around. After what was arguably the worst loss in recent memory, the Phillies could have easily looked at the road ahead against the Mets, Mariners, and (gulp) four against the Dodgers and felt that the walls were caving in on the team.
Instead, the Phillies have gone 6-2 since that meeting. And just a game shy of the .500 mark, the Phillies are very much in it. If you listened last week, you may have noted that I mentioned if the Phillies could hang around the .500 mark during this rough stretch, they could be in a position to take off.
The ingredients are there. If you look at the four main elements: offense, defense, starting staff, and bullpen, the offense has been mostly fine, now that it's clicking some. The starting staff is settling in after 3/5ths of the rotation started the season with question marks.
True, the bullpen let Sunday's game go. But they have overall been Okay. No bullpen is ever perfect. Every bullpen will lose some games.
The defense is what it is. It was what cost the Phillies the one game they lost in Seattle. They will have games like that.
But do they have pieces to be better? Absolutely. And who better than the team's MVP to tell them?
And say what you will about Joe Girardi, he is not the one out there playing the games. He's been given what he has been given and he cannot field for the players. There's the occasional move we question (like letting James Norwood implode too long before calling on Corey Knebel in that Mets loss), but the players need to make the moves.